Wichita State men’s basketball coach Gregg Marshall, who is being investigated by the school for alleged physical and emotional abuse of his players, denied all the allegations levied against him in a statement to The Wichita Eagle last week.
“In response to the allegations put forward in the media, I simply state unequivocally that I have never physically struck a player or colleague,” Marshall said, doubling down on a statement last week in which he acknowledged he can be “demanding, harsh or strict” but that he is not abusive. “Allegations claiming otherwise are false.”
Wichita State announced on Oct. 9 it had commissioned an investigation into the conduct of Marshall, a day after sources confirmed the probe to CBS Sports. The Athletic was first to report the investigation into Marshall’s behavior. The scope of the investigation is singular in nature and centers on how he treats his players, with alleged physical abuse among the several alarming accounts involved in the report.
“I’m aware the university conducted interviews and I fully participated in the process,” Marshall told The Athletic. “I look forward to having it wrapped up as I continue to focus my energy on our team.”
A week after his denial, The Athletic reported additional abusive player alleged by Winthrop players while Marshall was the coach from 1998-2007, before leaving for Wichita State. Marshall again denied those allegations. These allegations included calling some of his players derogatory terms and incessantly abusing others with harsh words.
Among the allegations in the initial report alleging abuse during his time at Wichita State include shoving former player Shaq Morris in the back; punching Morris between the shoulders near his neck; and attempting to punch a student through the driver’s window after the student parked in Marshall’s reserved parking spot. His treatment of individuals in and around the program has also raised alarms, per the report, and his on-court behavior has caused him problems in the past as well.
Stadium’s Jeff Goodman later reported that Morris said he was punched twice by Marshall during a 2015 practice, and that Marshall is also accused of choking assistant coach Kyle Lindsted the following year. Marshall, according to Stadium, also “routinely physically and verbally abused members of the program and demeaned his players with ethnic and racial slurs.”
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Wichita State in a statement on Oct. 9 said it “acknowledges the allegations within its Men’s Basketball program brought forth by media” but did not get into details about which specific allegations. Marshall has thus far not faced any punishment in light of the news reports.
The university is in the process of an independent investigation conducted by Tueth Keeney, a St. Louis-based law firm. Tueth Keeney has an established reputation of working with numerous public and private colleges, universities, community colleges, and other educational institutions on a wide range of issues, including conducting investigations of personnel and student-related matters, and other compliance issues.”
The investigation comes on the heels of a mass exodus for Marshall’s Wichita State program earlier this spring in which seven players, six of whom were on scholarship, transferred out of the program. Wichita State also lost a commitment from Class of 2020 prospect Ja’Dun Michael in late March.
The investigation is being completed in an expeditious and deliberate manner. We have received full cooperation from university staff, coaches, and current student-athletes, and Coach Gregg Marshall and support any individual who chooses to participate in order to conduct a fair, impartial and thorough investigation.
In the interim, activities of the team will continue as scheduled, and, as it does regularly, the university has reminded all staff, coaches and student-athletes of relevant policies and channels for reporting concerns.
Marshall is the winningest coach in Wichita State history with a career record of 331-121. He was hired in 2007 from Winthrop and has made seven NCAA Tournament appearances since, with a memorable 2013-14 season in which the program earned a No. 1 seed and finished the year 35-1. The year prior, the Shockers went 30-9 and advanced to their first Final Four appearance in nearly 50 years before falling to eventual national champion Louisville.
Marshall has been successful even amid transition within the program as it jumped from the Missouri Valley Conference to the American Athletic Conference in 2017. Wichita State has never finished in the bottom half of the AAC regular season race and finished tied for second three seasons ago. The Shockers went 23-8 last season.